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Rev John Flynn returns to life to tell Flying Doctor story

The Reverend John Flynn, founder of the Royal Flying Doctor Service (RFDS), will be brought back to life to tell the story of the foundation of the world famous aeromedical service.

Visitors to the award-winning RFDS Alice Springs Tourist Facility will see a life-size hologram of John Flynn describe his vision for the RFDS accompanied by realistic and lifelike imagery.

The pioneering holographic show forms the centrepiece in a revamped display at the state-of-the-art RFDS Alice Springs Tourist Facility about the foundation and evolution of the 87-year-old organisation into the modern day RFDS, the world’s largest aeromedical organisation.

NT Chief Minister Adam Giles unveiled the new display at the Tourist Facility. Development of the hologram was made possible with the help of a $50,000 Territory Government Tourism Infrastructure Grant.

“This hologram is one of only a couple of life-size ‘human’ holograms in the Southern Hemisphere and will add a new dynamic to the visitor experience at one of the NT’s premiere tourist attractions,” Mr Giles said.

“The Royal Flying Doctor Service is a much loved and necessary feature of Territory life and we celebrate the opportunity for visitors and locals alike to learn more about the valuable service the RFDS provides.”
John Lynch CEO RFDS Central Operations with Paul Gerrard who played John Flynn
Using the latest innovations in holographic technology, the hologram of John Flynn is portrayed by an actor who tells the story of Flynn’s vision and its realisation into the RFDS of today.

“Bringing our founder, John Flynn, back to life as a hologram will enhance the storytelling experience for visitors to the RFDS tourist facility in Alice Springs,” RFDS Central Operations Chief Executive Officer, John Lynch, said.

“Flynn’s vision of providing a ‘mantle of safety’ to people living, working and travelling in remote and rural Australia endures from its beginnings in 1928, following his learning of the death of the Aboriginal stockman, Jimmy Darcy in Halls Creek, and continues today as a larger player in primary health care and aero medical services in the history of this country.

“The use of music, lighting and the latest holographic technology will allow visitors to our tourist facility to connect with the RFDS’ history and vision in a way never before seen.”

The RFDS Alice Springs Tourist Facility attracts more than 60,000 visitors a year and has grown from strength to strength and following a major redevelopment the Facility contains state-of-the-art interactive displays and a full scale replica of an RFDS Pilatus PC12 aircraft.

The redevelopment was recognised as Best New tourism Development for 2012 at the Tourism NT Brolga Awards.
RFDS Central Operations Chairman David Hills also attended the launch and acknowledged the Chief Minister, Adam Giles, and his Government’s support for this project.

“This is another example of the RFDS’ investment in infrastructure and enhanced operational facilities in Central Australia that has now exceeded $13 million in the past four years,” Mr Hills said.

In its first year of operation in 1928 the RFDS provided medical assistance to 255 patients and saved four lives.

Now, the RFDS provides medical assistance to those who live, work and travel throughout Australia, assisting more than 280,000 people each year – that’s one person every two minutes.

RFDS Central Operations, which covers SA and the lower half of the NT, provides assistant to around 48,000 people each year.

In addition to its provision of emergency retrieval flights for victims of accident or illness, the RFDS also delivers a broad range of essential health care services to rural and remote communities, including:
  • clinic flights to rural communities with doctors, nurses and other health specialists;
  • radio and telephone medical consultations with remote patients;
  • operation of General Practice and primary health facilities in remote areas;\
  • emergency medicine and First Aid training programs;
  • a Rural Women’s GP Service granting gender choice of doctors in remote areas;
  • provision of medical chests to isolated people and communities; and
  • a Healthy Living program to reduce illness related to low exercise and poor diet.
Kate Hannon
Media & Communications Manager
RFDS Central Operations
08 8238 3328 or 0407 822 510 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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